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Manually Add Data Points to Apple Health

Oct 04, 2020

In my previous post I outlined how I’m using a Garmin Forerunner 245 and an Apple Watch with relevant data saved into Apple Health. In one section I mentioned that I’ve chosen to manually add data to Apple Health for 3 data points because Garmin sucks at syncing data reliably to Apple Health. In this post, I want to go into that detail a little more.

Prerequisites to setup Apple Health

First choose which data points are important to you. For me, I need to manually sync these 3 data points:

  • Active Energy
  • Steps
  • Running + Walking distance

First open up the attribute in Apple Health and scroll to the bottom. Select Data Sources & Access.

Apple Health - Select Data Sources & Access

In this screen click on the Edit in the top right. The Edit button will switch to Done. Under Data Sources drag Health to the top. Hit Done.

Apple Health - Edit Data Sources & Access

This is important because data can come into Apple Health from different sources. Apple intelligently will determine that and use this priority list so that data isn’t duplicated. Putting Health at the top means any time you manually enter data it will be treated with priority.

Calculate the Entries

If you don’t care about hourly data you can skip this part. I like to see how many steps or miles I did in the hour I did it. If a run crosses over the hour - say I run from 16:45 to 17:55 I like to enter multiple records for the 16:00 hour and the 17:00 hour.

I created an Excel spreadsheet that will calculate the values. It is not perfect. It will take the totals and will then assume a constant value per minute and spit out a table for the entries needed. It works for me.

Download Apple Health Calculator-v1.0.xlsx

Open the Garmin Connect app to get the values and then enter them into the Inputs section:

  • Start Time
  • End Time
  • Calories
  • Steps
  • Miles

Apple Health Calculator - Values

We’re done! The Excel file will calculate the Apple Health Entries.

Enter the data into Apple Health

Armed with the values open up Apple Health and go into the first data point. Hit on Add Data at the top right. You’ll then be on a screen where you need to set the Time and the Value.

Apple Health - Add Data

Repeat if the spreadsheet listed those hours. Once done you’ll have a pretty accurate chart of the hourly values of the data point.

Apple Health - Done Adding